RK Pelister

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РК Пелистер
RK Pelister
Full name Rakometen klub
Pelister Bitola
Founded 1955
Arena Sports Hall Mladost
Capacity 5,000
President Kasim Kamenica
Head coach Kasim Kamenica
League VIP Super League
2010-11 3rd
Club colours          
Team colours
Kit body whitestripes.png
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Official site

RK Pelister (HC Pelister) (Macedonian: РК Пелистер) is a team handball club from Bitola, Republic of Macedonia. It was the most successful Macedonian club in the 1990s having won five league titles and four national cups. Pelister has participated in the EHF Champions League and EHF Cup Winners' Cup five times and many other times in the EHF Cup and EHF Challenge Cup.[1] They are also the first and only Macedonian men's handball team to reach a European final, back in 2002 when they played Skjern Håndbold in the EHF Challenge Cup.


The club was the first handball team in Macedonia, formed in 1946 under the name Pelagonija.

From the 1983-84 season Pelister began to participate regularly in the Yugoslav First League.[2] They finished in third place in 1985 and were runners-up in back-to-back seasons (1986–87 and 1987–88) behind the dominant club Metaloplastika Šabac. Around that time the slogan "He who hasn't played in Bitola doesn't know what real support looks like" gained popularity, being uttered by the likes of Vlado Šola, Lino Červar and Zlatan Saračević. Pelister became the first ever Macedonian club to play in Europe, in 1986 against Atlético Madrid BM.[3] In the 1987/1988 season they reached the quarter-finals of the EHF Cup where they were eliminated by East German club ASK Vorwärts. The first leg in Bitola was won by six goals, but the second leg in Berlin resulted in a loss by seven points, ending the club's European run.

When the Macedonian League was transformed into First League in 1992, Pelister became the most successful club, winning the majority of domestic titles in that decade. In 1996, they made it to the semi-finals of the EHF Cup Winners' Cup where they lost on aggregate by one goal to the eventual champion TBV Lemgo. A record, 7,000 fans were in attendance for the rematch at the Sports Hall Mladost.[4][5] Seven players on Macedonia's squad at the 1999 World Men's Handball Championship in Egypt played for the club.

The club's most successful European run was made during the 2001/02 season when they played in the EHF Challenge Cup. First, they started by beating Zilant Kazan in the 3rd round and advanced to round 4, where they went on to defeat Paris St. Germain on away goals. In the quarterfinal they got past Kilkis GAC 52-51, setting up a semifinal match-up with Frederiksberg IF. Pelister would go on to win that tie in dramatic fashion in Bitola, when Naumče Mojsovski scored a goal in the final seconds of the game to even the score on aggregate, going through on a penalty shootout by the final score of 61-60.[6][7] In the final, Pelister lost to Skjern Håndbold but even in that match-up they still ended up winning the home game by 7 goals. Proving yet again that it was no easy task for any road team to win at the Sports Hall Mladost.

In 2005, Trifun Kostovski's Kometal became sponsor of the club bringing back the glory days with the team winning another double crown and capturing its sixth domestic league title, which was a record at the time. However, the success was short lived as Kometal left the following season.[8] Since then, Pelister has been marred by financial problems and has not achieved the same level of success.



Winners (7): 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1981
Winners (6): 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1997-98, 1999-00 and 2004-05
Winners (5): 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2005


Winners (2): 1996 and 1997
Quarter-finalist (1): 1988-89
Semi-finalist (1): 1995-96
Finalist (1): 2001–02

Arena information[edit]

Current squad[edit]

Squad for the 2016–17 season


Transfers for the 2017-18 season

Technical staff[edit]

  • Republic of Macedonia President: Kasim Kamenica
  • Republic of Macedonia Director: Kasim Kamenica
  • Republic of Macedonia Financial Director: Blagojče Petrevski
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Head Coach: Kasim Kamenica
  • Republic of Macedonia Assistant Coach: Igor Nikolovski
  • Republic of Macedonia Youth Coach: Kire Popovski
  • Republic of Macedonia Doctor: Vlade Nikolovski

Notable former players[edit]

Notable former coaches[edit]

  • Croatia Ante Kostelić
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Kasim Kamenica
  • Serbia Nikola "Gužva" Jevremović
  • Serbia Zoran Zečević
  • Romania Bogdan Macovei
  • Republic of Macedonia Stevče Stefanovski
  • Republic of Macedonia Zvonko Šundovski
  • Republic of Macedonia Cane Krstevski
  • Montenegro Ratko Đurković
  • Republic of Macedonia Borče Markovski
  • Republic of Macedonia Tome Petreski


Čkembari in 2011, supporting RK Pelister in the EHF Cup Winners' Cup match against HC Meshkov Brest.
Main article: Čkembari

Čkembari (Macedonian: Чкембари) are an Ultras group, established in 1985, who support the Macedonian sports clubs from Bitola that compete under the Pelister banner, mainly FK Pelister in football and RK Pelister in handball. The group was founded in 1985 when a caravan of 15 buses traveled to support RK Pelister who was playing against Partizan Bjelovar in a handball relegation play-off match. At that time they used the name BMČM - Bitolčani, Motorcyclists, Čkembari, Macedonians (македонски: БМЧМ - Битолчани, Мотокари, Чкембари, Македонци) later shortened to just Čkembari. Soon after, the first green and white banners were created that read: "Hell Boys" (македонски: Пеколни момци) and "Green Conquerors" (македонски: Зелени освојувачи) which started organized support for Pelister at every match.


External links[edit]